Friday, April 30, 2010

Profile: AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Kellie Mieremet

Few people truly dedicate their lives and work to others the way that Kellie Mieremet does. Guided by her personal mission to make a difference, Kellie manages the volunteer program at the American Red Cross. She is a volunteer through the Be Ready Utah AmeriCorps VISTA program, placed at the Red Cross. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America, and its members serve to build capacity in an organization, and dedicate a year of volunteer service.

Prior to starting her position at the Red Cross, Kellie worked in higher education organizing service learning and civic engagement programs for college students. For four years Kellie worked at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, Colorado arranging service sites for 120 college students each quarter. After moving back home to Salt Lake City, Utah to be closer to her family, Kellie continued her work in higher education with an organization called Utah Campus Compact. While there, she served a nine month position facilitating service learning and volunteer placement with all the colleges and universities in the state of Utah.

After years of placing students in AmeriCorps volunteer positions, Kellie knew and loved the program and wanted to become a member herself. She looked for positions in volunteer management and found that the VISTA program was hiring at the Red Cross. As the Volunteer Coordinator, Kellie’s main roles are to build a larger and stronger volunteer base, develop and maintain lasting programs and create a more streamlined process for volunteer management. Another goal is to create a sustainable system that will maintain long after her year at the Red Cross is over.

Working with volunteers has had a dramatic impact on Kellie. “Everyday I am inspired by the dedication and commitment volunteers bring to this organization,” Kellie said. Many volunteers are here everyday or on call everyday in order to carry out the mission of the Red Cross. “These people give of their time, talents, and treasures to serve the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross,” Kellie said.

Whether it is a student or a volunteer, Kellie’s passion is to make a difference in the lives of those she serves. Her remarkable work with the Red Cross has only solidified this passion. While her position with VISTA will be over at the end of June, Kellie stated, “I will be a Red Cross volunteer for life.”

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